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Feeling proud.

This post is going to ooze with positive vibes. I am so proud of myself and how far I have come over the past year. It’s time to acknowledge my strengths and give myself a pat on the back.

Just over a year ago I couldn’t leave the house; It literally took everything I had to go to the shops, the gym and anywhere that wasn’t my bedroom to be honest. Depression and Anxiety ruled my life. I tried so hard to beat it: Counselling, Psychology, therapy, exercising, writing (which is why I started a blog), communicating with people and I became an avid reader. I desperately wanted to escape from the confines of my mind. I realise, now, that this is impossible. I have Depression. I have anxiety. It’s a mental illness – not something you can grow out of or get rid of completely. I’ll always have it. It’s a part of me. And once you accept that: You can move on with your life. Taking it with you and creating positives from these negative aspects of your life.

Let’s not dwell on all of the things my Mental Health suppressed me from doing. Let’s talk about how far I’ve come over the past year. I have been at college for over half a year now doing an HNC in Professional Writing Skills in the Creative Industries, I have worked in River Island as a sales assistant over the Christmas period, I have got back in to filming YouTube videos (and dabbling in a bit of singing now and again too) and I have worked with some incredible brands and people through my blog. I created a twitter chat which I host twice a week and it has become more successful than I ever imagined. Within this chat I have created my own community with a ‘snail mail’ programme (where we all hand write letters to one another) and it is also a retweet account that other blogger’s can use to get their work recognised. Added to this, I have received a conditional offer from the University of Strathclyde in Creative Writing, Journalism and English. I am genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, gobsmacked by this! I wasn’t even going to apply and I just can’t believe they want ME! In addition, I have been awarded a definite offer at the City of Glasgow college for HND Journalism as a back up plan (incase I don’t meet the conditions for University). Overall, this upcoming year is going to be full of exciting things for me!

At the moment, I am working on something very exciting which I will share with you guys next month. It is in relation to Mental Health and I have been pouring my heart and soul in to it for the past while now. I can’t wait to share it with you lovely lot.

This post was just a brief update and to let you all know my good news! I am going to go and immerse myself in this ‘project’ I am working on. I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Charlene McElhinney

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A poem for my Gran on her 80th birthday


For my Gran Rundell on her 80th birthday

Lots of love Charlene McElhinney.

 

To my ‘One Gran’

On her big special day

I cannot believe

That you are now eighty

 

You’re a vital part of my life

Gran, you have always been there

Providing for my big brother and I

With an abundance of love and care

 

When we were young and little

And things at home were tough

You did your best for us wee tots –

Gran, you did more than enough

 

You lavished your love upon us

Always keeping us entertained

I suppose we were easy pleased

Cause we were good wee wains

 

You were ever so immensely proud

To take us everywhere with you

Introducing us to all your friends

And speaking so highly of us too

 

Summer time was just the best

When Aaron and I came to stay

Breakfast, elevenses, lunch and dinner

Then Supper at the end of the day

 

I’ll always remember the magnum centre

Where you frequently took us all swimming

The amusements, the beach and the bowling trips

(That Aaron was always blooming winning!)

And all of these memories, Gran

We made in Kilwinning

 

There are so many strange things, Gran

That remind me so much of you

Plain bread with the black crusts

Imperial Leather Soap too?

 

And whenever I see a scrabble board

(well, need I say any more?)

It goes without saying that

Nobody can beat your score!

 

We have such a huge family, you have

Grandkids and great grandchildren galore

And yet you provide us each with love

Not one of us receiving any less or any more

 

You’re the only grandparent I have left

And I miss my Gran McElhinney profoundly

You have been there for me, more than you know

Comforting me astoundingly.

Every time I see your cute little face

I appreciate you with all of my heart

I just wish I was better at showing it

I’m absolutely rubbish at that part!

 

I want to tell you you’re wonderful

In every conceivable way

So, how does it feel, Gran

Now that you’re eighty?

 

 

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Pressure & Standing your Ground.

As a writer, you get these urges from time to time, where you just have to create something. Anything. For me, that could be: poetry, a blogpost, a song, a short story, a journal entry, a letter to a pen friend or simply notes on a piece of paper (that may not make sense in that moment; but may mean something to you in time). You know?

Often, as a professional writing student at college and a blogger in a wide community of talented individuals, it is a regular occurrence that I beat myself up about my ‘content’ and my work (or my words) not being as good as others.

The pressure of being good at everything is on us constantly. At college, I must write comedy scripts, radio scripts, dramas, poetry, short stories, journalistic essays, articles, conduct interviews and transcribe them, create cover letters and digital CV’S and so so so so much more; In the blogging community I must blog consistently, my photography is expected to be of a certain standard, you are expected to know all of the digital aspects of blogging and the stuff that goes on in the background to do with DA, affiliate links and all that jazz, you are brainwashed in to thinking that you should have a certain amount of followers, you must upkeep all of your social media platforms religiously and you are expected to always be the same… but we all have our down days. It’s only human. We are allowed to have a moan every now and again or tell people what has peeved us that day.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this…

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Allow your personality to shine. Please don’t ever feel like you shouldn’t post something just because you don’t have a decent photograph to go with it or a catchy title (this post certainly has neither of these things).

My blog is a place I come to completely clear my mind; to open up and to have a bit of a ramble if I’m feeling like it. It is also a professional platform where I work with brands and publish some of my poetry and more serious work. And that’s OK. Each of these attributes are all part of me.

No matter how much criticism I receive for doing what I do: I won’t ever let it stop me.

Ever.

 

Love

Charlene McElhinney

 

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It’s exhausting being nice…

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I’m always kind to everyone I meet, I always make people laugh and smile and make sure people feel comfortable around me, I continuously go out of my way to do good for others. But do you know what? It’s exhausting being nice…

There is only so much one person can take.

When someone gives you a compliment you should thank them; when someone lets you borrow something you should give it back; if someone goes out of their way to try and be kind to you – you should acknowledge it. Manners cost nothing. Kindness goes a long way. And life is far too short to be bitter, jealous and quite frankly: up your own ass 24/7.

This post has been brewing for a while but a handful of events have occurred recently and provoked the need to write this post. I am fed up of allowing people to make me feel sh*t purely because I’ve tried to do something decent for someone else. Why do we help people when it results in us getting hurt and upset? Why do selfless people not put themselves first for a change? I don’t know why I ask myself these questions as I am yet to find an answer. I need to suppress myself from trying to keep everyone happy constantly. I’m so worried about letting people down all the time that I keep letting myself down by helping them.


I’m not saying every act of kindness is futile or unacknowledged; I’m just stating that sometimes you just need to realise that you can’t help out everyone and shouldn’t feel obliged to say ‘yes’ all the time. It’s OK to say no. I’ve realised that lately.

In education, further education, the workplace, clubs, parties, events, communities – absolutely everywhere you go you will stumble across some ‘bad eggs’.  There is not one place I have ever been where it has been free of negative people: people who revel in seeing others miserable, people who get jealous when you’re succeeding and gaining opportunities that they’re not, people who don’t put effort in and don’t turn up and yet expect to get special treatment when they do…I’m over it. I’m done. Why should we bend over backwards, us commendable goodhearted people, when it goes unnoticed and just ends up making us feel miserable?

In a nutshell, what I am trying to say is this, do not let people take advantage of your kind nature. Please don’t feel like it’s your responsibility to please everyone. Don’t let yourself be put in a position where you say yes when you desperately just wanted to say no.

An act of kindness can go a long way. You have the ability to make someone’s day and make them feel wonderful with just small gestures; you do not need to put yourself out just to please somebody else. Put yourself first. Please yourself.

Even the nicest people have their limits.

 

Until next time

Charlene McElhinney

 

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EMAIL: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com